The Alexandria girls got another win on Thursday evening, this time taking the 61st-annual John Hermes Invitational in Fergus Falls.

The Cardinals scored just 20 points, well in front of second-place Fargo North and third-place West Central Area with 85.

Anna Lien of Fargo North won the girls race in 19:24.9, and Alexandria’s Aleah Miller was second at 19:46.3. That was part of a pack of Cardinals that came in together.

Caitlin Bright was third (19:47.2), Jaelyn Miller was fourth (19:50.5), Bethany Miller was fifth (19:58.8), Giselle Jahner was sixth (20:01.6), Emma Ecker took seventh (20:07.3) and Taelor Dummer rounded out the lineup in ninth place (20:09.8).

“The girls had 20 season bests and are learning lots about racing and are gaining confidence,” head coach Travis Hochhalter said of his whole girls program. “With a huge week of practice, it was great to see progress towards our goals.”

The Alexandria boys were third in the nine-team field with 54 points.

Jacob Kleven led the way by coming in second individually. He crossed the line in 16:48.5, while Dane Galloway finished fifth in 17:03.9.

Brian Denke was 12th (17:38.3), Joey Carlson was 16th (17:51.9) and Bennett Wirth was 19th (18:02.9) to round out the scoring for the Cardinals. Cameron Hochsprung (24th, 18:16.4) and Harrison Greathouse (38th, 19:20.8) also ran varsity.

“Our boys varsity and junior varsity raced well and we were pleased with the focus and effort of our senior runners, but also the determination of some of our junior boys,” Hochhalter said. “It was the intelligent races, comments on sportsmanship, cooling down together and our team building a culture of doing the little things right that were noticed today.”

WCA boys win again

The West Central Area cross country teams also ran at the John Hermes Invite.

Once again, the boys took first place behind a 16:01.6 run for Jacob Bright, which was good for the individual win. The Knights took five of the top 11 spots in the field, finishing with 20 team points.

Kade Runge finished in fifth (17:03.1), followed by Jack Van Kempen (seventh, 17:07.3), Kyle Schill (10th, 17:21.1) and Alex Salwasser (11th, 17:27.7).

“Jacob continues to look strong in each race, WCA head coach John Van Kempen said. “Those next four can stay in a pack and finished within about 20 seconds of each other. After Jacob, any of those guys can be our No. 2 runner.”

Shad Swenson (33rd overall) and Roman Mihailovschi (45th) finished the race for the boys.

Lexi Bright was the top runner in the Class A field and finished 10th overall in the girl’s run with a time of 20:24.1. Teagan Nelson (21:08.5) and Brynn Fernholz (21:45.3) finished 14th and 16th. Taylor Bennet (23rd, 22:37.2), Alexa Blume (26th, 22:58.4) and Brooklyn Runge (37th, 24:54.4) completed the race for the Knights as they took third place as a team.

A-B-E boys take ninth

The Ashby-Brandon-Evansville programs also ran in Fergus Falls as the boys finished ninth in the varsity race.

Wes Siira led the way for his team as he took 38th overall in 19:19. Abram Fossell was 46th in 19:44.4), Jayden Hoidahl was 50th (20:07.5), Blake Merritt was 60th (21:31.2) and Titus Fuller was 61st (22:23.1).